We have a Q&A with the Flying Pigs ahead of their Now That's What I Call Methlick Best of Show.
Can you tell us a little about the show?
The show is a greatest hits, or 'glaikit hits', featuring our best sketches from the 20 years we’ve been active as a group. As with all of our shows, we have a mixture of sketches and songs with a distinctive North-East Scottish flavour.
Can you give us a brief overview of the history of the Flying Pigs?
We all began as either writers or performers in Aberdeen Student Show in the early to mid 90s, and Flying Pig Productions first came together in 1997, when we were the last folk standing at the Student Show last night party, and plans were hatched to create a “naughtier, scampering younger brother” for the Student Show, featuring sketches which were cleverer, or filthier, or more left-field than the Show’s material. . . (We’ve matured (a wee bit!) since then!) We performed our first show at the Lemon Tree Studio Theatre to a sell-out audience of close friends and dutiful relatives, and grew our audience each time with annual shows at the Lemon Tree till 2001, then graduating to the larger venue of Aberdeen Arts Centre. In 2004, we upscaled again to HMT, by which point, workloads + family commitments meant our shows settled in to a bi-annual frequency.
This year sees the 20th anniversary of the Flying Pigs, did working on the Student Show all those years ago influence how you've worked in the Flying Pigs?
The doric humour of Pigs is the same as that in Student Show, albeit freed from the overarching narrative of Show. It was Student Show that got us together and without it we would not be here!
Who has influenced, and continues to influence the Flying Pigs?
"Scotland The What?" was, and remains, a major influence, and of course there is a direct lineage with John Hardie being one of the group as well as our Director. It’s also possible to spot elements of other things like the Fast Show, Father Ted, The Broons, Scotch & Wry & the occasional trace of Monty Python, particularly in the very early days. We're also great people-watchers - just situations that we see amongst families, hear on the bus, or see happen in the street! Ab'dy and a'thin' really!
What highlights have you all had in the 20 years of the Flying Pigs?
Over the years we’ve shared a dressing room with Bucks Fizz, shared a stage with Bobby Davro, and, memorably, shared a fish supper with Robbie Shepherd. We've recorded 3 series of ‘Desperate Fishwives’ for Radio Scotland, and a half hour TV pilot for BBC Scotland. Inl 2008 we had the privilege of performing at the Civic Reception to honour “Scotland the What?” as they received the Freedom of the City of Aberdeen, which was very apt and a very great honour for us to be asked.
Can you tell us a little about your process and how you fit in writing the shows amongst your day jobs?
To be honest, it can be very difficult to fit the writing in around work and family life and we've certainly noticed a difference with this being a 'best of' that needed less writing. But as it's something we love we just find the time, thorough a combination of taking holidays to go on writing binges, giving up a day at the weekends and just nae watching any telly for weeks on end.
Also, unlike many comedy groups, we generally write on our own and then come together to read sketches together before editing, sometimes in teams. The first read through of new material is always a fairly high-pressure moment for the writers but the most enjoyable part of the whole process when it goes well.
Fa wid ken? We never expected to do half of what we’ve done so we’ll just take it as it comes.
Thank you to the Flying Pigs for answering our questions and tickets are still available for their Now That's What I Call Methlick show on Tuesday 26 June - Saturday 30 June 2018